Most of us have been there. The family holiday or the trip away with a loved one that takes you to a new place that just might offer good fishing. Unbeknown to your traveling companion, you do a bit of research and when you get there, you hope the stars align and you find yourself ankle deep in fishy water. Barcelona is a huge and vibrant city not too unlike Melbourne. Great food, good vino and a similar selection of interesting fishing nearby. Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean side of Spain at the base of the Pyrenees mountain range that borders France. With some information thanks to Google and the hope of catching trout on a new continent, I tentatively planned a visit to Barcelona’s only fly shop – Fly Shop Salmon 2000. From there, hopefully I could arrange some fishing. After a thorough look through the shop I managed to organise a day on the Ter River, a stream that begins in the Pyrenees and ends its course near Barcelona 208km later. We were to fish the water of Anglés about an hour and a half from Barcelona. It was a great feeling to have something locked in and knowing it had been worthwhile packing the Eden Poacher 6 piece fly rod.
Despite some confusion regarding the right train station to get off to meet my guide Jordi, we were soon on our way and thanks to Spain’s 120km/h speed limit, we were on the water in no time. The Ter River is attractive and full of life with lots of pocket water and regular riffles – close to town but still with a feeling of solitude. It wasn’t long before fish started rising and it was clear the river held plenty of trout. Despite some good presentations, we struggled to get them to eat the fly and it became evident they were very selective. Several fly changes ensued and a drop in tippet size to accommodate the smaller flies (size 18). Then, just as we figured the fish out and started getting them to take, the rise shut down. Like flicking a switch the fish stopped rising and it became clear a dry was no longer going to pull them up. So out came Jordi’s 10ft French nymphing outfit and in spite of some awful casting (more lobbing), we had instant results.
From there it was time for a quick lunch (including delicious cured meats) and a change of spot. My fishing license entitled me to fish 3km of river so we headed downstream to one of Jordi’s favorite stretches. As soon as we got there we started seeing rising fish and on the second cast I was into a nice little brown. Another four trout followed, all from roughly the same spot. We worked our way upstream and the excellent dry fly fishing continued. There were lots of fish and the importance of getting a good drift was never more apparent. In this river all the browns are wild and the slightly larger rainbows are fin-clipped stockies with a smattering of smaller wild rainbows as a result of them spawning. The river is catch and release only and as a result fish numbers are very high. We didn’t catch any big fish but they do get to 2kg plus. All the fish we caught were fat and in excellent condition – great fun on a 4 weight with small dry flies. I lost count of how many we caught and Jordi said it was just an average day on the river. Jordi’s English was reasonable and my Spanish terrible, so communication was a little hard but it didn’t matter. I learnt some new techniques; we shared a great day and caught many nice fish.
Barcelona is a fun city with lots to see and do and we found it very safe. If you ever find yourself there, I’d highly recommend a day’s fishing with the team at Fly Shop Salmon 2000. And if you like eating (who doesn’t?) visit Lonja De Tapas on Placeta De Montcada for some of the most delicious Tapas you’ll find in Spain – their cured tuna is one of the tastiest things to ever hit my lips.
For those not so inclined to go flyfishing on their holiday, Barcelona offers plenty of other activities. A visit to La Sagrada Familia is a must, as is a stroll along the beach (stopping for a cocktail or two if the mood strikes), and hours can be spent exploring the shops, bars and restaurants in the cobblestone laneways of the el Born area.
For more information on the flyfishing in Spain, contact Fly Shop Salmon 2000 www.flyshopsalmon2000.com/en/